Skip to content

Baked Pumpkin Spice Donut Holes

October 11, 2010

I might be harboring a slight pumpkin obsession right now. I just… I saw the canned pumpkin at the grocery store, bought a few cans, and now I can’t stop. I want to put pumpkin in everything.

Baked Pumpkin Spice Donut Holes

I’ve seen this one particular recipe popping up here and there for muffins that are supposed to taste like donuts. Now, I love donuts. Love love love. But I have one teeny, tiny problem with making donuts: I won’t fry anything. There are lots of reasons why – the smell, the terrifying vat of scorching hot oil, my pants need to fit – but the bottom line is that I won’t fry anything myself, so I will never make my own donuts. But baked muffins that taste like donuts? I’m so there.

Right about now I can hear you thinking, “Yeah, that’s great, but do they really taste like donuts if they’re not fried?” Well, yes and no. No, they don’t taste like a fresh fried yeast donut. But yes, they do taste like cake donut holes rolled in cinnamon sugar, and I promise you once you start eating them you’ll be so busy stuffing them in your face you won’t have time to analyze their relationship to a real donut.

Baked Pumpkin Spice Donut Holes

Baked Pumpkin Spice Donut Holes

Printable Recipe
Adapted from Tasty Kitchen
Makes 20-24 mini muffins

Don’t worry – you don’t actually use the whole stick of butter for the coating, it just makes it easier to dip the muffins. If you’re looking for a somewhat lighter treat, skip the coating – the muffins are moist and pumpkin packed all on their own. These are best dipped and coated the same day you are going to eat them, otherwise the coating tends to get soggy.


For Donuts
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoons nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/8 teaspoons ground cloves
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup canned plain pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
1/2 cup low-fat milk

For Coating
1 stick of unsalted butter, melted
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon


Preheat oven 350°F. Spray each cup in a 24-cup mini muffin tin with baking spray or butter generously.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and spices (through cloves). In a separate, large bowl whisk together oil, brown sugar, egg, vanilla, pumpkin and milk until smooth. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until just combined – do not over mix!

Divide batter evenly among muffin cups. (Using a 2-tablespoon scoop will ensure uniform size.) Bake at 350°F for 10-12 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

While the muffins bake, melt butter in one bowl and combine granulated sugar and cinnamon in another bowl. Remove muffins from oven and cool for 2 minutes, or until just cool enough to handle. Dip each muffin in melted butter, then roll in cinnamon sugar to coat.

  1. October 11, 2010 5:25 pm

    I’m also obsessed with making pumpkin stuff right now and these look fantastic! Too bad I’m starting back on weight watchers this week. I think I’m going to use these a reward for losing 5 pounds!

    I used to be scared of frying stuff, too, but I’ve made some donuts and beignets in the past few years and it’s not as hard as I thought it would be. I definitely don’t do it often, but the results are pretty delicious.

  2. October 11, 2010 8:03 pm

    Yes, I shall certainly be stuffing my face with these. Imminently. I just posted a pumpkin pizza dough recipe you might like! Feel free to check it out.

  3. October 11, 2010 8:47 pm

    These look so delicious! Thanks for sharing :)

  4. October 12, 2010 4:07 pm

    This is going on the top of my “to make” list! I just posted a recipe for baked apple cider doughnuts, and am already in the mood for another version – your recipe came at a very opportune time :).

  5. October 12, 2010 4:31 pm

    I have a big. big obsession with pumpkin. I love the sounds of these donut holes and that they are baked!! :)

  6. October 12, 2010 5:40 pm

    All I have to say is YES PLEASE! These look great! (I’m scared of frying too!)

    • The Craving Chronicles permalink*
      October 15, 2010 8:17 am

      I’m glad I’m not the only one!

  7. Kaelee permalink
    October 12, 2010 6:02 pm

    Fantastic recipe! These really are addicting. I’ve learned that you can skip the melted butter in the coating if you substitute powdered sugar for the granulated sugar this recipe calls for. Not quite the same, but just as tasty (and it’s easier to justify eating a few more…)

  8. October 12, 2010 9:31 pm

    These sound way better than those regular baked cinnamon sugar donut muffins. Pumpkin is a great addition. I’m bookmarking this recipe.

  9. October 12, 2010 10:46 pm

    Haha. I loved that bit about stuffing your face and forgetting to compare. Good stuff. I’ve never tried to bake with pumpkin but I’m so willing to give it a go lately. It’s calling out to me.

  10. October 13, 2010 12:02 am

    Oh my! YUM! These look divine! Bookmarked!

    Mary xo
    Delightful Bitefuls

  11. October 13, 2010 1:25 am

    now this is my kind of treat! these look delish!

  12. October 13, 2010 1:28 pm

    Yes please! I just picked up six more cans of pumpkin and one of those cans has this recipe written all over it. Thanks so much for sharing!

  13. October 13, 2010 2:10 pm

    these look DELICIOUS!!! very fall-y :)

  14. October 13, 2010 2:40 pm

    OMG, I’ve gotta try these! I’m with you, I’ve been consumed with everything pumpkin. Can’t wait to try them, they look delish!

  15. October 14, 2010 12:05 pm

    These sound great! I love pumpkin anything, just made a yummy pumpkin soup right in the pumpkin.

  16. Grace permalink
    October 15, 2010 12:35 am

    Made these last night… so awesome! They were really easy and everyone loved them.

    • The Craving Chronicles permalink*
      October 15, 2010 8:16 am

      So glad you liked them Grace! I love how easy they were too :)

  17. Nancy permalink
    October 15, 2010 12:27 pm

    put a chocolate chunk in the middle of a few chocolate chips. I love pumpkin and chocolate together, the taste combo is heavenly!

  18. November 4, 2010 9:56 am

    I want these NOW! oh my god they look so goooood.

  19. November 5, 2010 9:49 am

    Seriously these look amazing! I must try them right away. I’m in the pumpkin craze too!

  20. Fran permalink
    November 6, 2010 10:25 pm

    These were amazing and a big hit today. I took them to a party and we could not stop eating them. The flavor, texture, you name it they were YUMMY!!!!

  21. November 9, 2010 5:41 pm


  22. November 10, 2010 11:46 pm

    Made these tonight, and they came out great! Thanks for sharing! I’ll be blogging about them soon. :)

  23. November 11, 2010 4:22 pm

    Nice, TBH I have never tried pumpkin, but this might be my first try!! they look delicious

  24. Renee permalink
    November 25, 2010 6:10 pm

    Made these today with some leftover pumpkin (I plan to use the rest to make some oatmeal in the morning!) and they were a big hit – thanks!

  25. December 12, 2010 12:35 am

    OK, these are amazing! I too would never go fried – these donuts are my thing for sure :)

  26. February 5, 2014 10:33 am

    I emailed you a few years ago saying that I loved these donuts! And I do. They’re so very moist and work even with whole wheat flour. :) Did you know that half of the baked pumpkin donut recipes out there are (usually very lightly or not at all) adapted from this one? I always make sure they credit you. :D

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: